Sunday, June 24, 2007

Amish Friendship Bread

Chris, one of my co-workers, went to our Indy lab last week where one of the techs had brought in starters for Amish Friendship Bread. He brought one back for me because he thought I would like it. I think that actually translates into, "If I bring a starter back for her maybe she'll make it & bring it to work & feed me!". I don't mind all that & I'm ok with baking it & taking it in to work for the guys to munch on. My only reservation was that I wouldn't be at home this weekend to "mush the bag" & release the air bubbles. So I put the big ziplock bag in a bowl with a lid & left on our trip. My concern was that the air would build up & pop the ziplock. Here's what I found on the kitchen counter when I got home tonight.

Kentucky 2007

This weekend my family got together (I know, again!) & went to visit our cousins in Kentucky. I hadn't been down to Beaver Dam since I was 17 years old. My cousins have both gotten married & had children since the last time we were all together. We had such a great time! Friday night we gathered at Shana & Daniel's house for a cookout & then we went to David & Linda's to soak in the hot tub (decadent!). Saturday morning Shana, Beth, & I got up at the crack of dawn to go work out at the fitness center - there's nothing like breaking a sweat all together! Then we loaded up & headed out to Rough River Dam State Park where David & Linda keep their pontoon boat. We spent the rest of the day toolin' around on the boat & swimming. All of the kids got an opportunity to drive the boat (with Captain David's assistance) & they just loved it. A powerful storm rolled in late in the afternoon & it sent us scurrying for the marina. I managed to lose my favorite Splashin' Safari visor to the wind. Before I knew what had happened, it was off my head & sinking in Davey Jones's locker. Very sad.
Today we just hung out at the house, played some cards, & went for a walk in the rain. Then it was time to head home already. Now I'm gearing up for a long work day tomorrow. Back to reality. At least I like my reality 9 days out of 10!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Girls

While we were standing in line for a ride on the Turkey Whirl (and to make sure that my camera still worked after skidding across six feet of concrete) we took some pics of the girls.

Thank God, the camera still works!

Family Vacation

We managed to have a fabulous time as a family at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari. Now don't get me wrong, I love my family. We're close (some would say a little too close) but I don't generally enjoy holidays with the fam. It's always loud, crowded, & a little hurried so that all the marrieds can see all the branches of family that they need to. So I truly look forward to these little vacations we've started taking. The little cousins get together & have a blast. My siblings & I get to play together again. It's great.

I decided this year that I wouldn't drive myself so I tagged along with my parents. Sometimes driving with them isn't too much fun. My dad hates driving distances but no one else can drive if he's in the car (if you know what I mean...). So I packed my ipod & player & it turned out to be a very good idea. We jammed along to Don Williams, Johnny Cash, & Willie Nelson - all the songs I grew up on. My dad is a classic country fan & it totally cracked me up to hear him singing along with 'Folsom Prison Blues'.

We got checked into our King Size RV's. I stayed with Beth & Brennan while Mom & Dad stayed with Andy & Valerie. We met at our mutual picnic table for dinner & then headed off to Lake Rudolph's pool. And then it was on! Andy, Beth, & Mary Ann racing laps. So much fun!

Then we enjoyed two days at the parks. Here are some picture highlights...

Aidan's first Smore!

Hangin' out at the RV, watching some 'toons.

Dad, Mom, Beth, Brennan, & Caleb lined up for a little water squirting race. I opted to capture the moment on film. I think I got some good angles :-) Look how intense they are! I was totally laughing at them!

The big winner! I have to give Caleb a little credit here b/c he could have chosen one big prize for winning. Instead he opted to take two of the smaller prizes so that he would have one to give to his sister. What a champ!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Second Annual Family Vacation

Tomorrow afternoon my entire family will descend upon Lake Rudolph in Santa Claus, Indiana. By whole family I mean Charlie & Mary Lee, Andy & Valerie, Whitney & Aidan, Beth & Brennan, Caleb & Madison & me (Auntie MeeMee). We have all of Saturday through Tuesday to loaf around as a family & enjoy all the excitement that Holiday World & Splashin' Safari can afford. We never really took vacations when I was a kid so last year when we embarked on this little adventure it was the first time in about 12 years that all of us had been somewhere overnight together. Planning to do the trip again this year was a no-brainer. And we've upgraded from two cabins to two King Size RVs. I'll let you know what they're like. Instead of sleeping on a futon, I think I get my own bed this year - yeehaw!
Right now I'm imagining hours floating along the lazy river, jumping waves in the Bahari wave pool, riding the Turkey Twister & the Voyage...we know how to do it up right! Good times all around & pics to follow!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Happy Anniversary, B 'n B!

On June 6, 1998 my sister Beth married Brennan. Nine years, one little boy & one little girl later, they're still one of the cutest couples I know. Love you guys! Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Tuesdays used to be my favorite day. It's usually just a one job day & I use it to catch up. Go for a run, do some cleaning, blogging, hanging out with friends, maybe watch a movie & go to bed early. Today, not so much. First, one of my bosses is on vacation so one of the pharmacists from the Indy lab comes down to fill in from 8am - 3pm. That's fine; actually, I like it b/c I get to do a lot of extra little things that my boss normally does. It makes the day go a little faster & it makes me feel more needed :-) The chaos started after work. I had an appointment to meet a realtor to look at a condo. Before you think I'm loaded with cash, let me say that this condo is by no means new & the price is very right (about $42k). I had some reservations before I saw it b/c the price was so low. Truthfully, it's really not SO bad. It has a fabulous blue tile shower/tub with matching blue toilet & sink, new carpet, & lots of closet space. A couple of things that I didn't like were that you could confuse the kitchen with one of the closets b/c it was so very small & cramped, I cannot even describe how undesirable the view is from the living room windows, neither of the bedrooms nor the living room had overhead light fixtures, & there is no washer/dryer hookup. So, I had all this muddling around in my head & all that confusion always makes me ready for a run.
I headed out on my run & made a couple of discoveries. First of all, I always kind of thought that I needed some tunes with a little extra oomph to get me through my mileage. I had put my ipod on shuffle (like always) but when some sacred music or instrumental music came on I didn't fast forward right through them (like I usually do). I found out that running to Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance or the Pettit Team was quite enjoyable. I also noticed that the wind can make a tremendous effect on the amount of effort that goes into a run. When the wind blows against you it's very obvious; the wind makes me work much harder. Today as I was looping around town I wondered why I never seemed to feel the wind at my back pushing me along. That's when I realized that the wind at my back was a much more subtle presence, but it was there helping me out. It seems to me that trials in my life & the grace of God are a lot like that. The trials are obvious & painful. God's grace is just as real & just as powerful; I just have to take a moment to recognize that it is there helping me. Just a thought...
Ok, so I got done running, made myself presentable again, said hello to my parents, had a bite to eat, & headed to church to help with the visuals for VBS. I love going to these little art sessions! I can't teach or help during the school b/c of work obligations, but I always try to get in on the decoration creation. We make murals from the visuals in the VBS material by blowing them up with an overhead projector. First we trace them in pencil, then we outline them with Sharpies, paint them, & then redefine where needed w/ the magic Sharpies. I was the redefiner tonight. About 3 hours bending over a Sunday School table will make you ready for a massage, let me tell you! But it's worth it. I love VBS. This year it will be very different for my church b/c we no longer have a bus ministry. Please pray that kids will still find a way to get there!
Tomorrow is another 2 job day; I'm totally looking forward to our little mini vacation this weekend!